UN: UNHCR says hunger, insecurity force South Sudanese to flee

New York, US (PANA) - The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) on Tuesday said growing food
insecurity is causing more and more South Sudanese to flee into Sudan, urging more
funding for clean water, sanitation and health services, food and shelter.

Some 38,000 people have fled north over the border to neighbouring East and South Darfur since the end of January, particularly from the growing unrest in the north-western states of Northern Bahr El Ghazal and Warrap, according to a UNHCR statement obtained by PANA in New York.

It said the majority crossed into East Darfur, where an average of 500 South Sudanese
or 100 households had been arriving per day rising to over 150 households last week.

"The situation can quickly worsen as the nutrition situation in Upper Nile, Warrap, and Northern Bahr Ghazal grows increasingly serious.

"The arrivals are reaching Sudan in poor condition, according to the Government
of Sudan's Humanitarian Aid Commission. In addition to food, water and basic relief
items, they need protection from sexual and gender-based violence, and many
children have been separated from their families," UNHCR said.

Meanwhile, the refugee agency is working with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to respond to the needs of those displaced, and is also advocating for direct access to East Darfur to support the response.

The agency has expressed concern about the 2016 South Sudan Regional
Refugee Response Plan (RRRP) that covers the refugee programmes in the
neighbouring countries, run by UNHCR and 39 partners.

In South Darfur, it said, over 2,000 people were registered in Beliel Camp
which has hosted internally displaced persons of Darfur.

South Sudanese going to the camp have faced insecurity en route and as
many were in need of medical attention.

"These groups are part of 2.8 million people throughout South Sudan who are
officially classified as facing a food insecurity crisis or emergency, according
to Fewsnet, the global body mandated to monitor such situations.

"The food insecurity is worsened by the ongoing fighting in the country, which
started in December 2013 for political reasons, and which has since forced
2.3 million people to flee their homes," the statement concluded.
-0-   PANA   AA/AR  29March2016

29 march 2016 17:32:27

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